EGRU Research Staff are currently seeking motivated students for a variety of Honours and PhD projects.

To find out about available Honours projects please contact the Honours Coordinator, Dr Helen McCoy-West or any of our research staff.

Some of the available PhD projects are listed below.  If you are interested in discussing a particular research project please contact the relevant researcher.

Ioan Sanislav

Assessing alkaline magmatism in Mount Isa Inlier – the link to REE mineralization, the potential to host REE mineralization and tectonic significance

Syenite intrusive complexes are known to host economic REE mineralization and they are commonly enriched in REEs. The Mount Isa Inlier contains numerous mineral occurrence that are enriched in REEs but so far no major deposits have been found. Moreover, there are no satisfactory genetic models to explain the REE enrichment in the region.  Recent field mapping in the Mount Isa Inlier indicated that syenite intrusions are more widespread than currently shown on geological maps. Many of these intrusions occur as small gabbro-syenite complexes but some of them are volumetrically extensive. Field relationships indicate that they intruded at different times related to the tectonic activity. This project will involve field mapping in the Mount Isa Inlier, detailed petrology and mineralogy studies, age dating, geochemical modelling and the use of isotopes to understand the petrogenesis, tectonic setting and mineralization potential of these alkaline intrusive systems.

Lauren Waszek

Exploring Earth’s interior structure and dynamics beneath the Australian tectonic plate

While Australia is relatively seismically inactive, the plate boundaries display a range of stages of slab stagnation, making it an ideal natural laboratory. The aim is to combine observations from seismic waves which interact with mantle discontinuities with mineral physics modelling, in order to map the structures, thermochemistry, and dynamics beneath the region. The output will improve our understanding of the link between seismic discontinuities and deflection of convecting material.

Expanded project details –

Multiple projects are available. Students with a computational background are encouraged to contact Lauren to discuss the projects in more detail.




Helen McCoy-West

Geochemistry and geochronology of titanite

(honours only)

This project will build on recently acquired preliminary titanite geochronology (ages) of intrusive rocks of the Mt Isa region. You will conduct additional analyses and compare the results to those from zircon geochronology studies of the same, or similar, rock samples. You will also investigate the differences in the geochemistry of older and younger titanite grains from the same sample, from which you could develop a scheme to determine primary and secondary titanite from its composition.


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